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Science and Innovation in Saudi Arabia Society Term Paper

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Science and innovation have a critical role in the life of the current society. Still, people tend to see in different ways, as they pay attention to various aspects. In this way, some of them focus on positive influences of science and technological innovation while others consider the negative ones to be more critical.

Scientific development turned out to affect various spheres of life. It allowed industries to have more opportunities and overcome limitations, providing a possibility to automatize operations. Technological innovations extended the range of the products offered by organizations and improved their quality. Science and technology allowed to prevent many illnesses even though they also promoted the creation of new addictive drugs.

National security improves greatly, as new weapons are created. However, they also became more available, which increased crime rates. Environmental problems started to attract much attention after the Industrial Revolution. Science and innovation turned out to increase pollution in this way, but they also gave an opportunity to develop new strategies that can save the environment for the future generations.


About two centuries ago the western society started to face streamlined technological changes that occurred due to the various innovations. For instance, previously people received energy with the help of the wind, water, and animals while now they have an opportunity to overcome such limitations and use the steam engine. Its creation quickened the development of the Industrial Revolution, and influenced people’s lives greatly, making more opportunities accessible (Rosen, 2003).

Soon, the railroad allowed to transport people and various products to different locations. The sphere of communication improved with the creation of the telegraph and telephone. Finally, electric lighting substituted candles, kerosene, and gas. In the 20th century, progress started to be associated with the technological development and innovations. The automobile and the airplane entered the lives of the general public, affecting the nature of cities.

Radio and then television provided an opportunity to get to know more about people and events that happened all over the world without leaving home. Information about the causes of diseases allowed to develop new effective treatments and consider how various illnesses can be prevented. With the course of time, computers appeared. With the help of the transistor, they became smaller but more powerful and less expensive.

Of course, nowadays the process of research and development is extremely different from the one that existed two centuries ago. It turned out to be international in character with increased opportunities and the production of new knowledge. The mix of science and technologies altered human life significantly. Technological innovations provided a lot of people with warmth and cleanliness. They improved the quality of nutrition and medical care as well as widened a range of transportation and entertainment opportunities. Thus, science and technology can be effectively used to simplify people’s lives and to meet human needs.

Material progress continues, but the usefulness of new creations depends on the requirements of the current general public. Societies tend to have different opinions and ideas about the innovation; that is why they are discussed in the framework of different spheres. The alterations provide an opportunity to consider each technology and tool very attentively to make sure that they will improve living conditions. Even though science and innovation can have both positive and negative influences on the society, they play enormous role in its life, affecting industry, healthcare, national security and environment.

Role of Science and Innovation

Advantages of Science and Innovation

With the help of science, a lot of innovations that can be used in everyday life are made. They make even basic operations much simpler, which appeals to the humanity. Today people use various technologies even without understanding their complexity. They utilize washing machines, microwave ovens, phones, TV sets and DVD players every day at home, as they make routine things comfortable and pleasant.

Science and innovation give the representatives of the general public many benefits and also make the life of people with disabilities easier and more convenient. For example, the creation of elevators turned out to be advantageous for all populations and even streamlined the transportation of heavy freight (Nicoll & Zimring, 2009).

In the framework of working places and educational establishments, calculators, laptops, and printers are extremely helpful. They substitute previously used tools that entailed much paperwork and was difficult to work with. With the development of the industrialization, innovative technologies provide an opportunity to create processed and canned goods, bottle drinks, dresses, pants and a lot of other things that used to require much labor (Paula, 2011).

Today people are free to choose the product they want from the wide range of offerings while previously such chance was considered to be a privilege. Science and innovation also enhanced the sphere of transportation greatly. Ordinary people can refer to ground transport vehicles or may give preference to water or air transportation if the destination is distant. In this way, they can save much time, which is critical in the current rapid world.

The work of experienced scientists and their discoveries also entered the sphere of beauty. Today people pay enormous attention to the way they look like; that is why they believe the existence of the liposuction, breast implants, and various procedures that make individuals look younger and more attractive to be a great advantage. Scientific studies and their results allow to develop innovative medicines that prolong people’s life. New technologies provide an opportunity to detect illnesses in a short period of time as well as to find their causes and effective treatment. In this way, it can reduce death rates (Cook, 2011).

Innovations also made communication easier, faster and cheaper. People have a possibility to use smartphones that provide them with the opportunity to send messages, call, have video conferences, leave comments on the social networks, etc. There is no necessity already to wait for a long time for a letter sent from the other part of the world, as an e-mail can be received in less than a minute.

Disadvantages of Science and Innovation

Of course, science and innovation provided a wide range of opportunities for the society, a part of which were not even considered to be possible before. Still, it cannot be denied that some improvements entail adverse outcomes that affect people’s lives.

The representatives of the general public tend to become lazier, as they get used to the fact that a lot of operations can be streamlined with the help of special technologies. For example, they do not need to go outside and communicate with others or visit a library if they need some information. That is why some members of the society believe that people started to be less physically active, which influence their bodies and minds (Nicoll & Zimring, 2009).

Everything can be received from the television and internet. People do not even need to get up from the sofa, as they can use a zapper and a laptop. The youngsters are claimed to become addicted to such technologies, as they are a great source of the entertainment. As a result, teenagers are said to be more violent because they often perform such behavior when playing computer games. Nowadays scientists even discuss the situations when people are killed and injured because some individuals confuse virtual reality and a real world.

For example, such situation was observed in Russia, where a young man faced his enemy from the game face-to-face and killed him because he transferred the hierarchy and rules of that game to the reality (Online game rivalry ends with real life murder, 2008).

Modern equipment that is currently used by various organizations often has a negative influence on the environment. Innovative technologies produce harmful smoke that destroys the ozone layer. Many of them lead to the creation of waste that requires special utilization while its absence leads to the water, air and earth contamination. For example, drinking water pollution because of the gas industry operations was reported in Pennsylvania (Peltier & Fishbowl, 2016).

Even achievements in the sphere of chemistry and biology that provide an opportunity to create effective medicines have poor consequences. They extend the range of addictive drugs that can be illegally used, sold and transferred. That is why some members of the society believe that innovation and science have an adverse influence on health (Nicoll & Zimring, 2009).

Except for that, the negative effects of the innovation can be found in the development of the weapons and other military aspects. Of course, they are rather helpful in the framework of the national security, as they provide an opportunity to protect the country and its citizens. Still, it cannot be argued that with the creation of new weapons, they become more available. Ordinary members of the society start to buy guns, which increase crime rates within the community.

Finally, the concept of beauty is affected by the development of technology. While some enhancements are achieved with the help of innovations that are not invasive, others require operations and further image processing. Seeing photos that are edited with the assistance of Photoshop, teenagers tend to set unreachable ideals for themselves, which often leads to depression. The situation turned to be so absurd that almost a half of girls who are in the 1-3 grades are willing to be thinner while more than 75% of teenagers believe that their bodies require improvement (Vaynshteyn, 2014). They even tend to think that gaining weight is much scarier than having cancer or losing family, which shows that the views that are spread in the society are not decent.

Importance of Science and Innovation

The role of the innovation and science should not be ignored and underestimated. It has a great influence on people’s life, making it easier and more convenient or dangerous and more complicated depending on the situation.

All in all, science and innovation provide an opportunity to improve national security and social stability. They give more ways to receive energy, conserve it and utilize decently. Food technology allows to enhance the quality of the products and make them easier to storage and transport (Kasturi, 2009). The national economy and its efficiency can be improved by the growth of national income.

The gap between developed and developing countries can be reduced with the help of technological provision and donations. Technology intensification is rather beneficial for the organizations, as it can contribute to the value added production. Such societal change as the transition to an information society can be maintained due to the technological innovation and science. The creation of new tools in micro-electronics, computers, etc. can reduce the labor component and streamline automation.

The quality of people’s life can improve greatly because innovations made in the sphere of public health tend to provide more medial opportunities. Scientists receive a lot of possibilities to control diseases, treat and prevent them. Except for that, innovative technologies can be used to protect the environment and increase the productivity of the land. Information technology has social benefits, as it can be used to control urbanization. Finally, a new culture for the society can be created, as traditional and contemporary values can be combined (Role of science and technology for future development, 2000).

Different Views on Science and Innovation in Society of the Modern World


Research is critical for various industries because it gives more opportunities for them to improve. There are no limitations in the way they use the results of research studies. For example, a part of the chemical industry was created on the basis of scientific ideas. Its technologies, as well as those that belong to the semiconductor and biotechnology industry, were considered to be only some abstract promises from the very beginning.

Still, they turned into real objects soon. The growth of the science-based industries can be noticed even nowadays. Such industries are also depended on the technological innovations, as they provide a possibility to extend the range of the products. With the course of time, they are expected to be less affected by academic scientists. However, today they are still often the only ones who have the knowledge required for improvements.

In this way, a cooperation of scientists and engineers is required in order to cope with all possible problems and develop a decent plane design. Enormous amounts of money are constantly spent on such projects. Thus, a chance to get involved in such processes is received only by major organizations, as they are the only ones who have required technological knowledge and experience. The automobile industry is among the most mature areas. It needs fewer inputs from science and develops more slowly (National Academy of Sciences, 2016).

Technically self-contained industries and those that do not depend on the current science much are not really affected by the outcomes of the fundamental research. Such situation can be found in Japan, where productivity and product leadership are often obtained with the help of the strategies that are not really based on the scientific research, as they are focused on engineering.


Currently, society pays much attention to the improvement of the health status and prevention of illnesses. Science and technology turn out to be extremely helpful in this perspective, and the health sciences streamline the promotion of the well-being of the whole population. In fact, they are connected with various social and institutional structures. In this way, if something is discovered during the research, experimental products are likely to be created within a very short period of time. However, it does not mean that they will surely be beneficial, as their appearance in the market can require long lead because of the necessity to prove that the product is safe and efficient.

Still, the most critical issue that deals with healthcare and affects society’s health condition is its cost. Those medical products that are created due to the research and development procedures can reduce healthcare expenditures (Roehr, 2011).

Different vaccines, for example, prevent complications and do not let people get ill, which allows them not to spend money on other treatment. Such products as imaging devices and surgical procedures can be rather expensive, which increases healthcare costs. However, they improve overall care. Goods and procedures that reduce unit treatment costs make healthcare services more available, which is rather advantageous for the current society. As demand and total expenditures increase, the industry also has some benefit (National Academy of Sciences, 2016).

Thus, science and technical innovation affect healthcare costs due to the social and institutional structures that exist in this system. Society tends to reassess its health care system, and the main issue faced by it is the necessity to create administrative structures that will be able to enhance the development of medical technology, focusing on better services and reduced costs.

National Security

National security started to attract an enormous attention of the society after the World War II. With the help of innovative technologies created by the scientists, the country wanted to enhance its military advantage. For example, superior technology played a great role in the outcome of the Persian Gulf War, as it provided the Coalition with the opportunity to use “smart bombs” that improved the performance of the army greatly (Citino, 2001).

It is believed that military advantage can be received from the different sources of technology that tend to substitute one another with the course of time. In this way, initially, one part of industry provided hardware and software to the army. It was separated from civilian industry and had only one main customer. It was focused on the performance of the product while its cost seemed to be not so critical. Still, in the middle of the 20th century, the defense industry started to provide the civilian industry with its technologies.

Nowadays, innovations made due to the scientific research in the framework of the civilian industry tend to be even greater than those made by the defense industry, which shows the tendencies found in the current society (Role of science and technology for future development, 2000). Thus, it can be concluded the military depends on civilian technologies and national economic performance.

Today people are generally not so concerned about the wars even though some of them have not finished yet. They pay much attention to the improvements that can be seen in the framework of the civilian industry and the quality of life. The representatives of the general public are focused on the way they can make the life better, providing access to healthcare services, enhanced nutrition, sanitation, etc. As a result, the military faces the decline of defense budgets, which makes it need the re-examination of the base that deals with research and development.

Environmental Protection

Initially, people were not very concerned about the environmental problems, as they have never affected the life of the human beings. Still, such position altered greatly in the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution provided the general public with numerous advantages but they turned out to have a negative impact on the environment. Thus, since that time a lot of attempts to prevent the degradation of the environment were made all over the world. Nevertheless, the issue is still on the front burner today.

The condition of the environment continues to worsen because of the emissions, effluents, indecent waste disposal, and deforestation. Improvements made in the sphere of science and technology allow to see such problems as global warming and the contamination of water. In some cases, people and their activities are perceived as the main causes of environmental problems (for example, companies tend to believe that utilization of waste is too expensive that is why they do not refer to special organizations and drop dangerous materials illegally, which increases pollution).

It is believed that in several decades there will be about 11 billion people in the world. In order to supply them with everything needed, the global economy should grow. Science and technology innovation are likely to prove that all these people will have enough resources for living and that out planet will still be ready to be used by them. Due to the improvements in the mentioned spheres, people will be able to utilize more efficient technologies.

Some individuals believe that scientific research and innovations made on its basis should be mainly used to protect the environment and develop green policies (Chen, 2008). They focus on the positive effects that can be maintained by the organizations on the everyday basis. People tend to believe that investment in the green competence can be rather beneficial for the enterprises. As the representatives of the general public are rather concerned about the condition of the environment, they tend to refer to the companies that make their activities and products friendly to nature.

People choose the company they want to cooperate with, taking into consideration its green innovation and green images. Thus, the way the waste is utilized and the products are created is extremely important for the success of the business. Under the influence of the general public, firms start considering environmental management and innovations as their advantages over the competitors.

The environment can be protected with the help of initiatives undertaken by the individuals and organizations. Different industries can maintain efficient usage of raw materials, which is likely to reduce the amount of waste and stop contamination before it turns into a problem. According to Khanna, Deltas, and Harrington (2009) “reducing and preventing pollution is an important goal of the new field of industrial ecology, which, by examining industrial processes, strives to maintain sustainable technological growth” (p. 85). Due to the increased interest of the society, science and innovation technology, environmental degradation is believed to reduce due to the efficient use of raw materials and prevention of the pollution.

Science and Innovation in Saudi Arabia

Science and innovation bring much improvement to the countries, where they are promoted, and Saudi Arabia is one of them. Intellectual property (IP) encourages countries to maintain creative operations and innovate. As a result, it has positive effects on the global economy. Fair competition is promoted, innovative products and methods are created with the attempt to provide the product that is more beneficial than the one that the competitors have.

The National Science, Technology and Innovation Plan (NSTIP) that is implemented by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is focused on the support of advanced research. The private sector tends to do its best to give the country more opportunities in this framework. For instance, the Saudi Arabian Oil Company Armaco works with the organization known as King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology to improve research in oil and gas technology.

Their cooperation is mainly focused on the production of clean fuel, which is likely to appeal to the customers and bring increased revenue in this way. In the same way, Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corporation takes part in the project, the aim of which is the enhancement of the petrochemicals technology across Saudi Arabia. As one of the largest petrochemicals manufacturers, it receives much support that ensures a positive outcome.

IP laws are revised from time to time in order to meet the legal framework and enforce IP rights. In this way, the investment of these areas increase, which streamline the process of development. Such tendency is claimed to be integral to Saudi Arabia according to the NSTIP, because it can be used to create a knowledge-based economy. With such purpose, human resource capacities are extended, supporting research activities are conducted, required funding is allocated, and creativity and innovation is stimulated.

In order to implement the NSTIP, Saudi Arabia focuses on the KACST and other Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) organizations. Both public and private sectors maintain a large number of projects that are expected to improve the situation in the country greatly. They deal with “water technologies, biotechnology, advanced materials, nanotechnology, information technology, electronics, communication, oil and gas, petrochemicals technology, medical and health, space, energy, environment, agriculture, and construction” (Alsodais, 2013, par. 6).

Transferring and localizing technology is maintained by special centers. With the desire to enhance domestic innovative capacities, Saudi Arabia hires scientists, and technical professionals who have much experience in the sphere of technology and its areas. With the same purpose, a large amount of agreements is signed annually.

Saudi Arabia pays much attention to the oil and gas industries and developments that can be made in their spheres. It shows much concern about the environment and health. This presupposes the creation of strategies that can prevent pollution and improve access to the healthcare services with the attempt to enhance the quality of life.


The representatives of the society should pay more attention to the opportunities that are provided by science and innovation. They should consider the advantages that people can use in their everyday life, such as washing machines, microwave ovens, phones, and TV sets. Enormous help is provided to the people with disabilities, as they gain an opportunity to simplify their lives. Office operations and education also become easier due to the creation of calculators and laptops.

The possibility to make processed and canned goods allow to keep the food in a decent condition for a long time, which is beneficial for travelers. The sphere of transportation enhances, and persons can choose the means of transport that appeal to them more than others. In turns out to be easier to follow the tendencies in the beauty industry with the help of enhancement procedures. Finally, innovations also make communication faster and cheaper.

Still, the scientific development makes people lazier, providing them with the opportunity to forget about physical activities, which has an adverse impact on their health condition. The representatives of the vulnerable population that includes children and the youth mainly become addicted to technologies, which influence not only their bodies but also minds. Negative impact on the environment can be observed, as harmful smoke and waste require special utilization that is often ignored by the companies due to its expensiveness. New addictive drugs are created and spread through the society, which affects crime rates and health. The development of weapons and other military aspects not only protects the country but also increases the risks.

Thus, people who live in one society can have different views on the science and innovation because they tend to focus mainly only on the positive or negative aspects of it. Still, such perception is not negative, as it provides an opportunity to take into consideration different opinions when discussing the subject. They allow professionals to see the problem from opposite positions and evaluate it, discovering all sides of science and innovations. Except for that, obtained knowledge can be used to find a compromise and solution about the utilization of the innovations and discoveries in the world. Realizing what improves the situation and what makes it worse, can help the society to create plans, such as the NSTIP, and follow them to make the development as advantageous as possible.


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